The Sun Down Motel
The secrets lurking in a rundown roadside motel ensnare a young woman, just as they did her aunt thirty-five years before, in this new atmospheric suspense novel from the national bestselling and award-winning author of The Broken Girls.Upstate NY, 1982. Every small town like Fell, New York, has a place like the Sun Down Motel. Some customers are from out of town, passing through on their way to someplace better. Some are locals, trying to hide their secrets. Viv Delaney works as the night clerk to pay for her move to New York City. But something isn't right at the Sun Down, and before long she's determined to uncover all of the secrets hidden…

The Sun Down Motel Details

TitleThe Sun Down Motel
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseFeb 18th, 2020
PublisherBerkley
ISBN-139780440000174
Rating
GenreMystery, Thriller, Fiction, Mystery Thriller

The Sun Down Motel Review

  • Meredith
    January 1, 1970
    Dark, Ghostly, & So Good!Something strange is going on at The Sun Down Motel. In 1982, 20-year-old Vivian Delaney stumbles upon a job opening as the night shift clerk at The Sun Down Motel, located in eerie Fell, New York. During her shifts, Vivian begins to notice some inexplicable occurrences at the rundown motel: doors randomly opening and closing, strange phone calls, the smell of cigarette smoke when no one is present. It seems that the Sun Down is haunted. Making things even more Dark, Ghostly, & So Good!Something strange is going on at The Sun Down Motel. In 1982, 20-year-old Vivian Delaney stumbles upon a job opening as the night shift clerk at The Sun Down Motel, located in eerie Fell, New York. During her shifts, Vivian begins to notice some inexplicable occurrences at the rundown motel: doors randomly opening and closing, strange phone calls, the smell of cigarette smoke when no one is present. It seems that the Sun Down is haunted. Making things even more dramatic are the creepy customers who come to stay. At the same time, young women in Fell are being murdered. Vivian plays investigator and when she comes up with a lead, she vanishes without a trace.Fast forward to 2017, Vivian’s 20-year-old niece, Carly, arrives in Fell seeking answers about her aunt Vivian’s disappearance. Carly finds herself doing Vivian’s old job at the Sun Down and also begins to notice the strange happenings at the motel. As she investigates her aunt’s disappearance, she finds herself in extreme danger.There are so many things I loved about this book. Simone St. James transported me to Fell, NY. The atmosphere is rife with eeriness. The whole time I was reading this, I kept thinking that it would make for the perfect Halloween read. The supernatural plays a large role--I am not the most tolerant when it comes to the supernatural, but it works in this book. The ghosts serve a purpose--not to scare, but to remind of events from the past. Vivian and Carly share some of the same characteristics, but their voices are distinct. The mystery is intriguing and while the plot is not the most complex, I was riveted and could not put this book down. It was a little rocky in the beginning and felt like a cheesy tv movie, but the more the better it got. I was wholly entertained by The Sun Down Motel and I highly recommend to those who enjoy creepy, atmospheric mysteries. I received an ARC of this book from Edelweiss and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Nilufer Ozmekik
    January 1, 1970
    Twilight zone’s intro music blasting out in my mind: nananana!!!! I’m in the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition and I’m at the dimension of imagination….Nanana!!!I cannot sleep! I cannot move! I cannot breathe! When I was younger so much younger than today I never needed anybody’s help in anyway but even all ghost members of Beatles cannot save me! I’m numb, terrified! I’m speechless! I’m about to do something in my pants but I don’t! I barely hold myself! Twilight zone’s intro music blasting out in my mind: nananana!!!! I’m in the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition and I’m at the dimension of imagination….Nanana!!!I cannot sleep! I cannot move! I cannot breathe! When I was younger so much younger than today I never needed anybody’s help in anyway but even all ghost members of Beatles cannot save me! I’m numb, terrified! I’m speechless! I’m about to do something in my pants but I don’t! I barely hold myself! Thankfully, I wore diapers before reading something sooooo scary! So I’m giving my 5 gaazzzzzillion ssstaaarss (I cannot even speak or properly write, this book is so horrifying! I wish I hold my childhood Teddy bear to gather my wits but I already ripped its head when I was nine, reading Salem’s Lot! Dammit!)It’s midnight in LA, even my 24/7 partying neighbor is sleeping. My husband is still making entire Jurassic World’s sound effects by snoring loudly. But I’m alert! Eyes shut open! Already all lights in the house are turned on! I’m at the verge of hysterical breakdown, waiting to see Sun Down Motel’s ghosts banging on the door. Is this smoke I smell right now? Is this a salesman walking toward me? Who keeps knock, knock my heavenly house’s doors? Eric Clapton! Daattt! Freddy Mercury! Nope! He will rock not knock! Okay, I can’t stand anymore, dear lovely occupants of Sun Down Motel, I’m not night clerk, I’m just regular reader who loves your stories (I’m not talking about one of your friendly one named “Casper”, I actually find it overrated!) and Simone St. James did an amazing job because I didn’t eat for 8 hours, I didn’t move an inch and now my legs turned into jellies that I couldn’t move them, they’re useless right now. And of course I had limited booze service from my husband (you can imagine drinking and empty stomach could be definition of living dangerously!) I didn’t blink and I think my face is also paralyzed! I’m just looking like a survivor after over botox injections. I didn’t even visit to bathroom so my bladder already performing “Under Pressure” as a tribute to Bowie and Mercury.As a summary: This book is mind blowing, horrifying and so much better than entire horror movies I’ve watched lately. It’s better than Bad Times at the El Royale (I wish salesman Simon could dance like Chris Hemsworth but you cannot get what you want all the time!), entertaining as Bates Motel (this time night clerks are women and innocent, but we cannot say the same for the deceased occupants of the place whose souls stayed there for their unfinished businesses!) and they’re as creepy, spooky, disturbing as Overlook occupants. So we have an amazing gem is an impressive combination of Vacancy, Inkeepers and Poltergeist.In 1982 Viv Delaney, night clerk of Sun Down hotel, vanishes into thin air. They never find her corpse. Nobody knows her whereabouts. Till in the present time her niece Carly, arrives at the hotel, getting the same job her missing aunt had performed decades ago. After her mom’s sudden death because of big C, Carly is so adamant to find out what has happened to her aunt. By getting rid of the burden of the past, she feels like she may designate her own path for her own future steps.As soon as Carly arrives to Fell and starts her new gig, she’s going to find out, she’s living ten times worse experience of Paranormal Activity movie sequels and she knows who she is gonna call (of course Ghostbusters!) but there is bad reception at the hotel. The story is narrated by two people and two timelines. We move back and forth between 1982 and today. We have Viv and her niece Carly as narrators. They’re so interestingly similar each other, only their zones are different but both of them brave, smart, risk taker, loner, introverted, happy with their own terms and small things kind of ladies. ( I thought too many times, Carly could be daughter of Viv. Their instincts and approaches to the events, their actions are so similar.)Carly is too determined to find the secrets about the hotel and what happened to her aunt which puts her life in danger because she literally has to deal with the supernatural entities who could help her show the truth!!!!There are so many amazing characters such as Helen ( I visualized as Billie Lourd, only Carrie Fisher’s talented daughter could handle this creepy, weird but also loveable character.) And of course nobody knows what is like to be the sad man behind blue eyes Nick is also memorable character, hiding from his traumatic past, a great partner of crime to help Carly to solve the puzzle.I had great, terrifying time and I truly enjoyed every second of it by reading this book. Special thanks to NetGalley and Berkley Publishing Group to share this best ARC COPY and give me early Christmas gift in exchange my honest review. And honestly guys, PLEASE READ IT, READ IT, READ IT!And special thanks to Simone St. James for creating this amazing, memorable, stunning, mind blowing masterpiece!
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  • Debra
    January 1, 1970
    "I ain't afraid of no Ghost"I don't know why upon finishing this book, I could not get Ray Parker Jr.'s theme song for Ghostbusters out of my head. "If there is something weird and it don't look good..." Thank you Simon St. James for that earworm and of course, for writing such an engrossing, creepy, haunting and riveting book.The Sun Down Motel - an old Motel with secrets, ghosts and a dark tale to tell. Some get a room to sell drugs, some to drink themselves into oblivion, some to have a "I ain't afraid of no Ghost"I don't know why upon finishing this book, I could not get Ray Parker Jr.'s theme song for Ghostbusters out of my head. "If there is something weird and it don't look good..." Thank you Simon St. James for that earworm and of course, for writing such an engrossing, creepy, haunting and riveting book.The Sun Down Motel - an old Motel with secrets, ghosts and a dark tale to tell. Some get a room to sell drugs, some to drink themselves into oblivion, some to have a torrid affair, some to sleep for the night after a long day of driving, some for prostitution. But the Motel has a history, a history those in the town of Fell know about but aren't always so willing to talk about. A Motel where things really do go bump in the night. Viv Delaney worked as the night clerk at the Sun Down Motel and soon begins to notice things - that that aren't quite right. Things that are creepy, scary and strange. Intrigued, she begins to investigate the Motel's history, because that is what you do right, when doors open and close on their own (I'd be so out of there...just sayin'). But then one day, Viv isn't there anymore....Carly arrives in the town of Fell, with questions. Her aunt Viv (Vivian) went missing after working as the Night Clerk at the Sun Down Motel. Her mother died never knowing what happened to her sister. Carly wants to know as well and as luck would have it, the Sun Down Motel needs a nigh clerk, so Carly accepts the position. As she begins to ask questions and look up the Motel's history, she too begins to hear, smell and see that things which go bump in the night.Oh, how I love a good haunting! Simone St. James who knocked my socks off with The Haunting of Maddy Clare has done it again. This book played out like a movie in my mind. I could imagine everything happening. This book is eerie, atmospheric and chilling. She has created intriguing characters who can't quite help but to put themselves in intense situations because of their curiosity. Apparently, no one warned them about what curiosity did to the cat!Initially, I did struggle keeping track of which young woman's storyline/timeline was being told, but I found my stride and had no problems after that. I found this to be an engaging, delightfully creepy haunting which delivered. I loved how everything came together in the end! This is the perfect book to read on a chilly October night as Halloween approaches. Plus, how about that cover!
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  • Lindsay - Traveling Sister
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 stars! A dark, engrossing, chilling, gothic, suspenseful, atmospheric, mysterious thriller! Loved it!!!After her mother’s death, Carly moves to the small town of Fell, to investigate the disappearance of her mothers sister, Vivian. Decades earlier, Carly’s aunt Vivian took a job as the night clerk at the remote Sun Down Motel. Unexplained strange things happen at this motel including the disappearance of Vivian from her shift one night. Police investigation provides no answers as to what 4.5 stars! A dark, engrossing, chilling, gothic, suspenseful, atmospheric, mysterious thriller! Loved it!!!After her mother’s death, Carly moves to the small town of Fell, to investigate the disappearance of her mothers sister, Vivian. Decades earlier, Carly’s aunt Vivian took a job as the night clerk at the remote Sun Down Motel. Unexplained strange things happen at this motel including the disappearance of Vivian from her shift one night. Police investigation provides no answers as to what happened to Vivian. Haunted by the tragedy that happened before she was born, Carly begins her search at the Sun Down Motel, only to be offered a job as the night clerk. Carly finds herself in the same role that her aunt Vivian had before she vanished. Will Carly be able to uncover the long buried secrets and get the answers she hopes for?I loved this book! The atmosphere was thick! I felt every spine-tingling scare that Carly felt. I was with her there in that run down motel, holding my breath in anticipation of what would happen next. The author, Simone St. James, created a storyline that completely engrossed me within the suspense and mystery. I felt like I truly knew the characters, the small town and the motel. The story is brilliantly narrated in two timelines/perspectives - through Carly in 2017 and her aunt Vivian in 1982. Loved the pace and flow - it kept me curious and hungry to read “just one more chapter.” My one tiny critique is that I felt a couple things near the end were a stretch for me to accept.I will warn you that this novel is quite ghost-y. I am not one who generally attracts to ghost-y type novels, however, this story simply felt so real and kept me fully immersed and invested that I never doubted the supernatural element. I read and loved Simone St. James’ previous novel, The Broken Girls. This book was just as good! I’m a huge fan and look forward to what this author comes out with next! I must make note of how much I LOVE THIS COVER!! Thank you to Berkley for sending me a physical copy to read and review with The Traveling Sisters! Expected Publication Date: February 18, 2020.
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  • Michelle
    January 1, 1970
    Can well all just take a moment and appreciate the perfection that is this cover??? So, so stunning. Now let me tell you why you all need to go out and grab a copy of this! Not only is Simone St. James an incredibly talented writer but she likes to get her spooky on and I'm a spooky kind of gal. My only regret is that I should have waited until closer to Halloween to sink my teeth into this one but patience is not a virtue of mine and I'm not ashamed to admit it. Like in her previous book (the Can well all just take a moment and appreciate the perfection that is this cover??? So, so stunning. 😍Now let me tell you why you all need to go out and grab a copy of this! Not only is Simone St. James an incredibly talented writer but she likes to get her spooky on and I'm a spooky kind of gal. My only regret is that I should have waited until closer to Halloween to sink my teeth into this one but patience is not a virtue of mine and I'm not ashamed to admit it. Like in her previous book (the only one I have read - Now THIS I am ashamed of!), The Broken Girls, we have back and forth chapters, one in the present and one in the past. 1982: Viv Delaney takes a job working the night shift at the Sun Down Motel. It appears not all is still and silent in the night and Viv sets out to discover the mysteries of the Sun Down. Until the night she vanishes into thin air never to be found again. Present: Carly, having recently lost her mom to cancer, decides to investigate the mystery of her long lost Aunt Viv. Her mother mourned her sister until the day she died but never wanted to speak of her. Carly decides to go to Fell, NY and the Sun Down Motel in search of answers. Imagine her surprise to find out that the Sun Down Motel is looking for a night clerk and so she applies. Maybe working the same position at the same hotel in which her aunt disappeared will reveal some answers. She is about to get much more than she ever bargained for because the Sun Down Motel is restless at night..... "Come on in the building seemed to say with it's jagged up-and-down lights, its blue and yellow neon cheeriness. Get some sleep. Take it easy until the sun comes up again. And if you see someone sitting at the end of your bed, pay them no mind. That's just one of my secrets. And I'm not going to tell." 4 *perfect for Halloween* stars! Thank you to Edelweiss and Berkley Publishing Group for providing me with a digital ARC in exchange for my honest review.
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  • Dorie - Cats&Books :)
    January 1, 1970
    My first introduction to Simone St. James was reading her previous novel The Broken Girls, it was one of my top 10 books last year. I went into this with a crazy amount of anticipation and hoping been another 5* read.The novel revolves around a young woman, Carly, searching for the answer for why her long dead aunt Vivian disappeared. The family never felt any kind of closure because her body was never found. She just vanished one night during her late night shift working at reception in The Sun My first introduction to Simone St. James was reading her previous novel The Broken Girls, it was one of my top 10 books last year. I went into this with a crazy amount of anticipation and hoping been another 5* read.The novel revolves around a young woman, Carly, searching for the answer for why her long dead aunt Vivian disappeared. The family never felt any kind of closure because her body was never found. She just vanished one night during her late night shift working at reception in The Sun Down Motel. In order to understand Carly’s point of view we must be taken back in time to when her aunt disappeared. Meanwhile Carly will get a job at the Sun Down herself in order to try and find an answer.Here begin some of my problems with this book. Lots of situations happened around the same time in the women’s timelines. I also found situations were just too repetitive having to weave the two stories together. At first I was just a little confused about whose story I was reading. As I got into the story I did enjoy the ride but it wasn’t a page turner for me. Ms. St. James’s writing here is top notch and the story is a good one. I found the characters to be well described but I did have trouble with believability. I asked myself so many times, why didn’t she just quit? Why would they intentionally put themselves in such danger? Who can anyone trust? In each storyline there is a good friend and a boyfriend.This novel has Ms. St.Jame’s signature creation of a ghostly vibe and it’s a good mystery. There were lots of lights going on and off, doors opening and shutting on their own, “smoke scent in the air” and apparitions. Both Vivian and her niece Carly are looking for answers as to what is going on and putting themselves in grave danger.The ending moved my rating up to a solid 4 and I can definitely recommend it. Ms. St. Jame’s followers won’t be disappointed.I would recommend this as a “long sit” read in order to keep the timelines straight and to ratchet up the tension and vibe. This is a great Fall and Halloween read. Publication is set for February 18, 2020. I received a ARC of this novel from the publisher through NetGalley.This was a Traveling Sisters read :)
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  • Jayme
    January 1, 1970
    You know those rundown , L-shaped motels that you pass on road trips, despite the fact that you are so bone tired, that you are not sure that you could drive another mile...The ones with the buzzing signs, that blink, Vacancy! Cable TV!The REALLY CREEPY ones? Welcome to the Sun Down Motel!Located in Fell, a small town in upstate, NY- A town too small to have this many DEAD GIRLS. Viv Delaney was just passing through in 1982. Running out of money before she could reach New York City, with dreams You know those rundown , L-shaped motels that you pass on road trips, despite the fact that you are so bone tired, that you are not sure that you could drive another mile...The ones with the buzzing signs, that blink, Vacancy! Cable TV!The REALLY CREEPY ones? Welcome to the Sun Down Motel!Located in Fell, a small town in upstate, NY- A town too small to have this many DEAD GIRLS. Viv Delaney was just passing through in 1982. Running out of money before she could reach New York City, with dreams of becoming an actress, she takes a job as the night clerk at The Sun Down.Cigarette smoke...The doors to locked rooms swinging open one by one..A whiff of perfume..And, a woman in a floral dress warning her to RUN!Compelled to investigate, till she too disappears..2017: Viv's niece Carly is drawn to Fell, NY after her mother's death. She wants to find out what happened to Vivian and ends up following in her Aunt's footsteps.She too takes a job at The Sun Down as a night clerk- SOME things never change..I wanted an atmospheric, GHOST story for Halloween, and I got one! I grew up reading Trixie Belden and Nancy Drew books, so Viv and Carly playing amateur detective, was right up my alley! Some readers may feel that some of the chapters seem repetitive as first one sleuth, and than the other, make the same discoveries, 35 years apart, but it did not bother me, as Viv's chapters in the 80's felt so nostalgic, and she would put her “acting skills” to use, so their individual voices were distinctive to me. Reading this book in my dark backyard last night, my IPAD screen glowing, and the hairs on my arms standing up, I couldn't go to sleep till I found out if Carly would get justice for Vivian..Thank You to Edelweiss, Berkley Publishing and Simone St. James for the digital ARC I received in exchange for a candid review.I LOVED this one! ❤️If you enjoyed 'The Broken Girls" this one will not disappoint you-Available Feb. 18th, 2020!
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  • Holly B
    January 1, 1970
    This old, seedy roadside motel setting had me running to grab this one! This creepy, haunted motel has a past that it won't let go... slamming doors, traveling salesmen, and many unanswered questions.I loved the atmospheric setting and couldn't help but think of the Bates Motel. The same type of place you wouldn't necessarily want to check into! I was also picturing the Scooby Doo van about to roll up at any moment to help this girl Carly out.The two timelines meshed together to solve a 35 year This old, seedy roadside motel setting had me running to grab this one! This creepy, haunted motel has a past that it won't let go... slamming doors, traveling salesmen, and many unanswered questions. I loved the atmospheric setting and couldn't help but think of the Bates Motel. The same type of place you wouldn't necessarily want to check into! I was also picturing the Scooby Doo van about to roll up at any moment to help this girl Carly out.The two timelines meshed together to solve a 35 year old mystery made this an entertaining who-dunnit. Carly was the amateur detective and was determined to get answers.While it was a spooky read, I was hoping for a little more spine-chilling twists and creepy turns. For me this one was more of a spooky adventure where Carly is on a mission.If you are looking for a unique crime read with some ghostly happenings, this one is quite entertaining and perfect for the season.OUT on Feb. 18, 2020Thanks to the publisher and NG for my review copy. 
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  • megs_bookrack
    January 1, 1970
    Things I love:1. Simone St. James.2. This cover.3. The fact that this is coming out in just a few months.Give it to me!!!...and just like that, thank you so much for my ARC, Berkley!You are too good to me and I love it!!!!
  • marilyn
    January 1, 1970
    As crazy as it sounds for two young women, in different times, to work at a motel that they know is haunted, I have friends who would jump at a chance to do so. Those friends are both true crime buffs and also interested in the paranormal. I have similar interests but will go only so far as to read about such things, whereas the two main characters in this book dove right into the heart of the crime and ghost mysteries. The town of Fell, NY is a place stuck in the past. Even when Viv, the first As crazy as it sounds for two young women, in different times, to work at a motel that they know is haunted, I have friends who would jump at a chance to do so. Those friends are both true crime buffs and also interested in the paranormal. I have similar interests but will go only so far as to read about such things, whereas the two main characters in this book dove right into the heart of the crime and ghost mysteries. The town of Fell, NY is a place stuck in the past. Even when Viv, the first 20 year old character, stopped there and took a job at the Sun Down Motel, the place was lost in a time past. And bad things were happening in Fell, young women were being brutally murdered. Small town Fell was not a safe place for a woman to be alone, not on the streets or in her own home. Then Viv disappears, without anyone noticing for four days, and very little is done to find her, with anyone who knew about her attributing her disappearance to the murderer of the other women. Thirty-five years later true crime fan Carly, Viv's niece, arrives in Fell to look into the disappearance of her aunt. Finding that the same night shift that her aunt worked at the Sun Down Motel needed a clerk, Carly takes the job and we get to read alternating timelines as both Viv and Carly take very similar paths as they investigate the long ago murders and also the very creepy happenings at the motel. The motel really is haunted and both Viv and Caryl see dead people, people who lost their lives at the motel. Things happen that shouldn't happen and it's all tied into the first murder victim that they are investigating, Betty, whose ravaged and tattered body was found on the construction site of the motel, right before it was completed. It was a challenge to keep the two timelines straight since Carly's investigation mirrored Viv's so closely but I enjoyed this story and the people in the story. I felt like I was there, as doors slammed, footsteps echoed, lights flickered, and shadows became human. Thank you to Berkley/Penguin Publishing Group and Edelweiss for this ARC.
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  • Tammy
    January 1, 1970
    I’m not typically a fan of ghost stories or stories involving the supernatural but St. James gets me every time. Once again, I was reading at night while home alone and nearly jumped out of my skin each time my phone pinged with an incoming text. A dual timeline moves between 1982 and 2017 and tells the story of a missing Aunt whose niece is determined to find out what happened. Throw in murdered girls and a sleazy motel that attracts denizens from the seedy side of life not to mention I’m not typically a fan of ghost stories or stories involving the supernatural but St. James gets me every time. Once again, I was reading at night while home alone and nearly jumped out of my skin each time my phone pinged with an incoming text. A dual timeline moves between 1982 and 2017 and tells the story of a missing Aunt whose niece is determined to find out what happened. Throw in murdered girls and a sleazy motel that attracts denizens from the seedy side of life not to mention apparitions seeking attention and you have a solid otherworldly thriller that, for one reason or another, will keep you up at all night.
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  • Chelsea Humphrey
    January 1, 1970
    I'm getting some serious Bad Times at the El Royale vibes here and I'm not mad about. Holy gorgeous cover + eerie vibes!*Many thanks to the publisher for providing my review copy.
  • Kelly (and the Book Boar)
    January 1, 1970
    Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/ “This place is dark.”“Some of us like the dark. It’s what we know.” Me immediately prior to reading this book . . . . If you follow my reviews, you know I’ve been kind of in a book slump – especially when it comes to wrongreading giant hits that everyone else all over the intertubes have been loving. I attempted to lower my expectations before starting this one (I didn’t fall head-over-heels for The Broken Girls so I was trying to Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/ “This place is dark.”“Some of us like the dark. It’s what we know.” Me immediately prior to reading this book . . . . If you follow my reviews, you know I’ve been kind of in a book slump – especially when it comes to wrongreading giant hits that everyone else all over the intertubes have been loving. I attempted to lower my expectations before starting this one (I didn’t fall head-over-heels for The Broken Girls so I was trying to be realistic), but damn the cover alone had me like “Hey Girl.” In fact, that was the only thing I knew about this before starting. What I found upon opening her up???Mysteries that take place in dual timelines. The then is told from Viv back in 1982. Viv left home in hopes of becoming a famous actress in NYC, but ended up as the night watchperson at the Sun Down Motel in Fell, New York instead. The now is told by Viv’s niece Carly. Carly is a hobbyist with a focus on true crime. The fact that her own aunt went poof in the night never to be heard from again is fuel to her websleuthing nature and she has traveled to Fell in hopes of finding some answers regarding Viv’s disappearance.Then there’s the motel . . . . With lights that turn on and off, locked doors that randomly get thrown open, yelling and pounding in rooms with no checked-in guests, a little boy who appears sans parents and the occasional smell of cigarettes despite the place being no smoking was just what Momma needed. After all . . . . (Which leads me to – WHY THE EFF DOES THIS NOT COME OUT UNTIL FEBRUARY???? It’s the perfect October mystery.)The entire time I was reading this I couldn’t wait to call my real-life book buddies and tell them . . . . . It didn’t matter that I figured out the twist behind the whodunit . . . . It didn’t matter that there was a moment of . . . . It didn’t matter that regular civilians were trying to solve this old shit themselves . . . . Mainly because the snooping in both the past and the present made sense and it wasn’t like either timeline had a bunch of inside knowledge or outside help. They used things like newspaper clippings, the internet and a dang phone book to link clues together.Bottom line is I loved every thing about this. It was the perfect book at the perfect time. I read it in about 14 seconds and was pretty bummed when it was over so it gets every star. And today I shall bask in the glory that . . . . I DO NOT SUCK A TURTLE!!!!ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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  • JanB
    January 1, 1970
    While I loved that the author dedicated the book to Murderinos (a term coined for fans of the podcast My Favorite Murder), and the protagonist is a fan of true crime, the book was still not for me. I think this would work well for those readers looking for a campy B movie type thriller. You know, the kind where you totally suspend disbelief and spend the entire movie yelling at the amateur sleuth MC for doing stupid things. But you love it anyway. And you can accept ghosts. A lot of ghosts. That While I loved that the author dedicated the book to Murderinos (a term coined for fans of the podcast My Favorite Murder), and the protagonist is a fan of true crime, the book was still not for me. I think this would work well for those readers looking for a campy B movie type thriller. You know, the kind where you totally suspend disbelief and spend the entire movie yelling at the amateur sleuth MC for doing stupid things. But you love it anyway. And you can accept ghosts. A lot of ghosts. That everyone can see.Some readers love this type of book so this is a case of me being the wrong reader. I hope my review helps this book find its readership. * I received a free digital copy of the book from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Melisa
    January 1, 1970
    So incredibly creepy on many different levels - a perfect spooky read!Exquisite storytelling per usual, however the plot line is a bit of a departure for Ms.St. James (not in a bad way! Just a bit unexpected.) We have the usual ghost story in combination with what’s happening in the land of the living, however there is a bit more crime violence than expected. This dual timeline story is one that will leave you fascinated, stumped, and oh-so-creeped out. So very cinematic, this could easily be a So incredibly creepy on many different levels - a perfect spooky read!Exquisite storytelling per usual, however the plot line is a bit of a departure for Ms.St. James (not in a bad way! Just a bit unexpected.) We have the usual ghost story in combination with what’s happening in the land of the living, however there is a bit more crime violence than expected. This dual timeline story is one that will leave you fascinated, stumped, and oh-so-creeped out. So very cinematic, this could easily be a great horror film. And who doesn’t love the 80’s?! Stranger Things fans will love the retro vibe of this throwback story. The conclusion left me a bit wanting. Not my favorite Simone St. James story but still a great tale!ARC provided by publisher - thank you!
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  • Brenda -Traveling Sister host of The Traveling Friends
    January 1, 1970
    Hot spooky dang that was good!! Now that's good storytelling!!! A good creepy yet entertaining ghost story, a mystery and the best creepy setting ever that comes alive and pulls you right into it! I loved it all!! And what a cover!!! This is one not to be missed!!! RTC
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  • BernLuvsBooks (Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas)
    January 1, 1970
    A stunning cover, an unsolved mystery and a motel harboring both secrets and ghosts = another winning read by Simone St. James!I absolutely devoured this book and with good reason. Once you start reading, you just can't stop! It's such a page turner!!! Simone St. James has captured all those creepy thoughts we all have about those roadside, seedy looking motels and turned things ALL the way up. Talk about a place you want to run far away from! The story is told via 2 POVs. The past - it's 1982 A stunning cover, an unsolved mystery and a motel harboring both secrets and ghosts = another winning read by Simone St. James!I absolutely devoured this book and with good reason. Once you start reading, you just can't stop! It's such a page turner!!! Simone St. James has captured all those creepy thoughts we all have about those roadside, seedy looking motels and turned things ALL the way up. Talk about a place you want to run far away from! The story is told via 2 POVs. The past - it's 1982 and Viv Delaney has dreams of making it in NY as an actress but she ends up in Fell as a night clerk at the Sun Down Motel. What starts out as a temporary stop ends up being the last place anyone ever sees her. One night she simply vanishes and her family never hear from her again. The present - Viv's niece Carly is drawn to Fell after the death of her mother. She is determined to find out what happened to her aunt Viv. The two stories mesh together, to reveal the truth of the Sound Down Motel. I love how St. James weaves ghosts into her stories and this one was really well done. It added such a spooky element to the storyline and a great twist to the mystery. This story was totally up my alley - a 80s vibe, creepy motel with ghosts and spooky happenings, a Nancy Drew-esque vibe with the main characters and it even had a hot guy! Needless to say, I enjoyed this so much! A highly recommended read for my fellow mystery and thriller fans. Thank you Simone St. James, Berkley & Penguin Publishing and Edelweiss for the opportunity to read this arc. All thoughts are completely my own.
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  • Theresa Alan
    January 1, 1970
    I really enjoyed the first book I read by Simone St. James called The Broken Girls. The Sun Down Motel has similar themes to that novel in that once again, you’ll need to suspend disbelief and believe in ghosts. It’s also told in a similar way by alternating chapters and points of view. In 1982, Vivian is twenty years old and, just to get away from home, runs to New York City, except she’s waylaid by the creepy guy who offered her a ride and insists on getting out before he can do more than put I really enjoyed the first book I read by Simone St. James called The Broken Girls. The Sun Down Motel has similar themes to that novel in that once again, you’ll need to suspend disbelief and believe in ghosts. It’s also told in a similar way by alternating chapters and points of view. In 1982, Vivian is twenty years old and, just to get away from home, runs to New York City, except she’s waylaid by the creepy guy who offered her a ride and insists on getting out before he can do more than put his hand too high on her thigh. This lands her in Fell, New York. She thinks she’ll spend a night at the lonely Sun Down Motel and then head down to New York City, but she ends up taking the job as the night shift clerk. At night, she sees thing that compel her to become an amateur sleuth, learning about just how many young women have been murdered in this small, otherwise quiet town.In 2017, Viv’s niece Carly goes on what little information she has to Fell, New York, to find out what happened to her mother’s sister thirty-five years earlier. Carly is also able to land a job at the Sun Down Motel as the night clerk. Like her aunt, instead of sleeping during the day, she spends her days investigating whether the murders of the three women in Fell that happened before Viv’s disappearance could have been the work of a single killer and if so, if that killer murdered her aunt.This was suspenseful. Some parts I had to speed read because I was actually stressed out for these fictional characters. I liked The Broken Girls a little more, but this is another good contribution to the paranormal genre. Thanks to NetGalley and Berkley for the opportunity to read this novel, which RELEASES FEBRUARY 18, 2020.For more reviews, please visit http://www.theresaalan.net/blog
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  • Marialyce
    January 1, 1970
    While I loved this author's first book, Broken Girls, this current one held little appeal to me. I love a ghost story but this one seemed to border on the ridiculous and seemed to be channeling at times The Sixth Sense. Still in search for that great ghost tale.
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  • Lisa Zetes
    January 1, 1970
    I love this book, it was really fast paced and spooky.Carly is a young College student who's mom passes away from cancer. But her mom always mourned her sister Viv who left thirty five years ago and never heard from her again. So Carly decides she's going to Fell, Ny to find out what happened to her Aunt Viv. Carly decides to take a job at the motel her Aunt worked in Fell, Ny The Sun Down Motel. And so begins her investigation where she's trying to find out about her aunt but then also dealing I love this book, it was really fast paced and spooky.Carly is a young College student who's mom passes away from cancer. But her mom always mourned her sister Viv who left thirty five years ago and never heard from her again. So Carly decides she's going to Fell, Ny to find out what happened to her Aunt Viv. Carly decides to take a job at the motel her Aunt worked in Fell, Ny The Sun Down Motel. And so begins her investigation where she's trying to find out about her aunt but then also dealing with ghost who roam the hotel.I want to thank Berkley/ Penguin Random House for the ARC
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  • DeAnn
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 creepy motel starsThis was my first Simone St. James book and now I am a fan! Two alternating storylines track Vivian, working the night shift at The Sun Down Motel, and her niece Carly, determined to get to the bottom of her aunt’s disappearance 35 years ago. Set in Fell, a small town in upstate New York, that seems to have more than its fair share of murdered girls.The motel seems to be haunted and I kept thinking – get out of there – while all the creepy events swirl around these two 4.5 creepy motel starsThis was my first Simone St. James book and now I am a fan! Two alternating storylines track Vivian, working the night shift at The Sun Down Motel, and her niece Carly, determined to get to the bottom of her aunt’s disappearance 35 years ago. Set in Fell, a small town in upstate New York, that seems to have more than its fair share of murdered girls.The motel seems to be haunted and I kept thinking – get out of there – while all the creepy events swirl around these two characters. Doors mysteriously opening, lights flickering, mysterious smells of smoke. We are fed bits and pieces of both stories and the stories finally coalesce and we figure out what really happened all those years ago. The secrets are finally ready to come out and the conclusion is fantastic!Thank you to the author, Edelweiss, and Berkley for an early copy of the book to read. This made for a perfect pre-Halloween read.
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  • Jillian Doherty
    January 1, 1970
    wow wow WOW! I loved The Broken Girls, the first novel we sold from Simone St James - original and page-turning story-telling that has the perfect combination of investigative narrative, and hauntingly creepy atmospheric writing. Now! In her new February release she ups the anti~ both Viv and Carly's voices are spot on; their stories are artfully meshed throughout the book, making it very hard stop reading! I love how firm the plot is, while maintaining her spooky, yet historically driven wow wow WOW! I loved The Broken Girls, the first novel we sold from Simone St James - original and page-turning story-telling that has the perfect combination of investigative narrative, and hauntingly creepy atmospheric writing. Now! In her new February release she ups the anti~ both Viv and Carly's voices are spot on; their stories are artfully meshed throughout the book, making it very hard stop reading! I love how firm the plot is, while maintaining her spooky, yet historically driven narratives. (I actually did a high kick when referring this read to a friend ;) Galley borrowed from the publisher.
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  • Laura • lauralovestoread
    January 1, 1970
    ALL THE STARS! Wow wow wow I love this book so much and I want to gush about it but I can’t because it comes out in February. You want a book with ghosts? Look no further! I read The Broken Girls last year and loved it for the paranormal elements, so I was highly anticipating this upcoming release.I haven’t been able to stop thinking about The Sun Down Motel since I read it a few days ago. A badass heroine, dual timelines, ghosts, one of the creepiest atmospheres, and layers of backstory that ALL THE STARS! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️Wow wow wow I love this book so much and I want to gush about it but I can’t because it comes out in February. You want a book with ghosts? Look no further! I read The Broken Girls last year and loved it for the paranormal elements, so I was highly anticipating this upcoming release.I haven’t been able to stop thinking about The Sun Down Motel since I read it a few days ago. A badass heroine, dual timelines, ghosts, one of the creepiest atmospheres, and layers of backstory that build and build. This book is so rich with all the chills and suspense, and it’s going down as one of my faves ever! *Thank you Berkley Pub for this gifted copy.
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  • Dennis
    January 1, 1970
    Simone St. James has done it again, folks! After reading her memorizing book, The Broken Girls last year, I was more than excited to find out that she has another book coming out next year—the ominous and enticing The Sun Down Motel ! Ms. St. James obviously has a fool-proof strategy when it comes to dark, gothic noir mystery novels because this book was so fun to read. It follows in the same vein of The Broken Girls, but located in Upstate New York, and it's much, much darker. I definitely got Simone St. James has done it again, folks! After reading her memorizing book, The Broken Girls last year, I was more than excited to find out that she has another book coming out next year—the ominous and enticing The Sun Down Motel ! Ms. St. James obviously has a fool-proof strategy when it comes to dark, gothic noir mystery novels because this book was so fun to read. It follows in the same vein of The Broken Girls, but located in Upstate New York, and it's much, much darker. I definitely got American Horror Story vibes while reading this book, and I really loved how the author wasn't afraid to dive into malevolence. The two protagonists, Viv and Carly, are both structured perfectly and I really felt connected to their stories. Upstate New York is the perfect setting for spooky and the mysterious, and I really believe that this book will blow everyone's expectations out of the water. I'm excited to see what everyone thinks about this title come publication day. I'm curious to see what Simone St. James has in store for us next.
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  • Cassie-Traveling Sister-
    January 1, 1970
    Oh my gosh this book is everything!! It was a mistake for me to say I’m just going to start the first chapter before bed, because I could not put this book down! I was lost in each characters story and I needed to know more! Alternating point of views just added more to the story line! Viv has just left home it’s 1982 and her parents just divorced she’s hoping to move to New York to become an actress. After hitchhiking she ends up at in Fell New York. She takes a job as a night clerk at The Sun Oh my gosh this book is everything!! It was a mistake for me to say I’m just going to start the first chapter before bed, because I could not put this book down! I was lost in each characters story and I needed to know more! Alternating point of views just added more to the story line! Viv has just left home it’s 1982 and her parents just divorced she’s hoping to move to New York to become an actress. After hitchhiking she ends up at in Fell New York. She takes a job as a night clerk at The Sun Down Motel. As soon as she starts she starts to notice the odd people who check in there, a woman who stays there to hide her drinking , a couple in the midst of an affair and a creepy to nice door to door business man. She swears she sees the ghost of a woman and a young boy and at certain times she smells cigarette smoke when no one is around. A couple murders have also happened the woman were brutally murdered two years before she had arrived and curious Vic begins to investigate and starts to wonder if there’s a serial killer at large , but one night she just disappears and she’s never been found. Carly is from 2017 and is the niece of Viv. After her mother’s death Carly decides to investigate her aunts disappearance since her mother never wanted to talk about her. Carly gets a job as the night clerk at The Sun Down Motel just like her aunts old job. Carly begins to investigate and meets some people who knew her aunt before her disappearance. With the help of her roommate they begin to dig up some evidence from the murders from over thirty years ago. This book had everything murder, mystery , unhappy spirits and some creepy aspects I loved it!! It was a five star read for me. I enjoyed the creepy element around the hotel. It was a perfect fall read for me! Highly recommend! It’s available February 18th 2020!
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  • Jamie beauty_andthebook_
    January 1, 1970
    Dual timelines, a mystery in the present and the past, interesting characters, building suspense - what more could you want from a thriller?! For my friends who are not ghost people - it’s a small component here and I normally don’t read supernatural elements and I loved this one - so don’t let that deter you! The writing is strong, the plot is captivating & you won’t want to put this one down. It’s coming in February so do yourself a favor and preorder a copy now .Thank you to Berkley for Dual timelines, a mystery in the present and the past, interesting characters, building suspense - what more could you want from a thriller?! For my friends who are not ghost people - it’s a small component here and I normally don’t read supernatural elements and I loved this one - so don’t let that deter you! The writing is strong, the plot is captivating & you won’t want to put this one down. It’s coming in February so do yourself a favor and preorder a copy now 🤩.Thank you to Berkley for an advanced copy. All opinions are my own.
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  • Mlpmom (Book Reviewer)
    January 1, 1970
    This was a perfect spooky fall read! Full review to come closer to release date.
  • Kim
    January 1, 1970
    A book set in a motel in 1982, the year I was born? Yes please.
  • Cindy Burnett
    January 1, 1970
    THIS BOOK IS AMAZING. I have not stopped telling people about it since I finished it. First, the cover is the about the coolest cover I have ever seen. Second, the book is simply fantastic; I absolutely loved it. The pacing is perfect; it’s awesomely creepy but not overly scary; and it is one of the best books I have read in a while. Her characters are so well developed, and I rooted for both Viv and Carly as they sought to determine what was haunting The Sun Down Motel. I could talk about it THIS BOOK IS AMAZING. I have not stopped telling people about it since I finished it. First, the cover is the about the coolest cover I have ever seen. Second, the book is simply fantastic; I absolutely loved it. The pacing is perfect; it’s awesomely creepy but not overly scary; and it is one of the best books I have read in a while. Her characters are so well developed, and I rooted for both Viv and Carly as they sought to determine what was haunting The Sun Down Motel. I could talk about it for days and days (and will be for quite some time).For more reviews, check out my Instagram account, https://www.instagram.com/thoughtsfro....
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  • Shelby
    January 1, 1970
    In the summer of 1982, Viv Delaney is desperate for a fresh start. She’s headed for NYC but somehow ends up in a small town called Fell in Upstate New York instead. 20-year old Viv takes a job the Sun Down Motel working the night shift. But on her very first night there, Viv realizes this isn't some normal motel—doors swing open by themselves, the lights randomly go out and worst of all, Viv sees people who aren’t there. This spurs Viv to look into the motel’s history. And that’s when she In the summer of 1982, Viv Delaney is desperate for a fresh start. She’s headed for NYC but somehow ends up in a small town called Fell in Upstate New York instead. 20-year old Viv takes a job the Sun Down Motel working the night shift. But on her very first night there, Viv realizes this isn't some normal motel—doors swing open by themselves, the lights randomly go out and worst of all, Viv sees people who aren’t there. This spurs Viv to look into the motel’s history. And that’s when she discovers the untimely deaths that have not only taken place at the Sun Down, but the string of murderer girls who have died in Fell over the past few years. For such a small town, Fell seems to have an extremely high number of murder victims, particularly young women. Viv gets wrapped up in trying to discover who the killer is and by November, we know Viv goes missing, never to be seen from again.Now over 30-years later in 2017, Carly is headed to Fell, New York after her mother dies of cancer. Years earlier, she learned her mom had a sister named Viv that disappeared in 1982. Carly is intrigued by true crime and now’s her chance to solve an unsolved case that’s close to home. Carly ends up rooming with another college student who also likes true crime as much as she does. And her roommate tells her of all the dead girls that have been found in this small town over a short period of time in the 70s and 80s. Fell seems to be surrounded by death, but why? Carly takes the same job as her aunt did back in 1982; she becomes the night shift worker at the Sun Down motel. And the spooky happenings that haunted Viv are now back to haunt Carly, too. Viv disappeared after working just 3-months at the Sun Down motel. Will Carly meet her same fate?The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James is a masterfully written ghost story told in dual perspectives/timelines. I love a story with dual timelines: a mystery from over 30-years ago being solved currently. Even though this isn’t a fast-paced thriller, I was fully engaged from start to finish and didn’t want to put this one down. At times, Viv and Carly’s perspectives got a little confusing as the two women seemed so similar, but luckily I never stayed confused for long. This was my first time reading a book by Simone St. James but it certainly won’t be my last! 4.5/5 stars.Thank you to Edelweiss, Berkley and Simone St. James for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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